Georgia is a southeastern state in the USA with a landscape of beaches, mountains and farmland. Also known as the ‘Peach State’ for being the top grower of peaches, Georgia also produces the most pecans and peanuts. Home to the uniquely sweet Vidalia onions and where Coca Cola was invented, there are plenty of interesting landmarks in Georgia to explore.
From Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site to the mysterious Georgia Guidestones, Georgia’s historical landmarks tell its fascinating history. Georgia is also the state where the Cherokee alphabet was invented. Famous natural landmarks in Georgia include Amicalola Falls, the tallest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River, and Okefenokee Swamp, the largest swamp in North America.
- 21 Georgia Landmarks
- Natural Landmarks in Georgia
- Historic Landmarks in Georgia
21 Georgia Landmarks
Natural Landmarks in Georgia
1- Providence Canyon
Also known as Little Grand Canyon, Georgia’s Providence Canyon is one of the most stunning natural landmarks of the state.
The canyon is in Providence Canyon State Outdoor Recreation Area, a 1,003-acre state park in Stewart County.
Created during the 1800s, the canyon has plunging 150 ft gullies formed due to bad farming practices.
The canyon is stunning to look at, with colourful soil of orange, red and purple hues and rare Plumleaf Azaleas that bloom in July and August.
The rim trail offers fantastic viewpoints, but if you hike down to the canyon’s floor, there’s a thin layer of water deep in the canyon as it lies on loam, clay and sand marine sediments.
Providence Canyon State Park is at 8930 Canyon Rd, Lumpkin.
2- Arabia Mountain
In the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve, a low saddle separates Arabia Mountain from Bradley Mountain.
The two granite mountains form a Monadnock, a geological formation where the ground has eroded.
Spread across 40,000 acres, the preserve consists of greenery and historical sites that formed over 400 million years.
Arabia Mountain also contains many rare plants, such as Diamorpha, growing in the solution pit ecosystems on the rock face.
These plants have survived summer’s heat and the parched conditions to thrive in thin soil and exposed stone.
Diamorpha smallii is a small plant around two inches tall that blankets the green mountain with red before blooming with white flowers.
The most stunning patches of red can be seen as you hike along the Mountain Top Trail.
Arabia Mountain is in the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve in DeKalb County, Georgia
3- Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountain range stretches from southern Pennsylvania through six states and into Georgia.
The mountain range contains around 125 soaring mountain peaks over 5000 ft (1500m), and the highest point in Georgia is Brasstown Bald (or Enotah).
The Cherokee settled the region, and the word ‘Bald’ describes mountains with 360-degree views.
There’s a stone monument of former Georgia Supreme Court Judge Thomas S Candler at Brasstown Bald.
Blue Ridge is on the Georgia-Tennessee-North Carolina border and is a romantic mountain getaway with 106,000 acres of Chattahoochee National Forest, hiking trails and trout streams.
The heritage Blue Ridge Scenic Railway follows the historic Marietta and North Georgia Railroad line along the Toccoa River to McCaysville in Georgia and Copperhill in Tennessee.
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is at 241 Depot St, Blue Ridge.
4- Tallulah Falls
This 1,000 ft gorge carved by the Tallulah River is two miles long and has six cascading waterfalls.
The spectacular views were by the elements over millions of years.
The gorge is a magnet for adventure seekers and offers rock climbing, mountain biking and hiking.
Staircases descend into the canyon, which also has suspension bridges, swimming holes, rocks and waterfalls.
Stunning overlooks are available on the rim hikes, and there’s a suspension bridge 80 ft above the rocky canyon floor.
The gorge is a magnet for tightrope walkers, and there’s a paved path that follows the historic railroad bed.
The park is home to Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center, which highlights the rich history of the Victorian resort town and the area’s fragile ecosystem.
Tallulah Falls is the ‘Niagara of the South, drawing visitors to see its beautiful waterfalls and gorge.
Tallulah Gorge is in Tallulah Gorge State Park, 338 Jane Hurt Yarn Dr., Tallulah Falls.
5- Yonah Mountain
A mountain ridge in Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, Yonah Mountain is located between Cleveland and Helen.
Yonah is the Cherokee word for ‘Bear’, and a hike along the Yonah Mountain Trail reveals a rocky forest filled with wildflowers and stunning views from the summit.
Yonah rises from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and thrusts into the sky in an asymmetrical, iconic shape.
Yonah Mountain is at 1900 Chambers Road, Cleveland.
6- Amicalola Falls
Amicalola Falls is Georgia’s tallest cascading waterfall dropping over 730 ft, it’s four times higher than Niagara Falls.
Amicalola cascades down in tiers within Amicalola Falls State Park near Dawsonville in the North Georgia mountains near the Appalachian Trail.
A trek up the falls offers stunning views, and a descend via stairs and bridges.
Amicalola Falls Loop hike begins at the Amicalola Falls Visitor Center.
Amicalola Falls Visitor Center is at 418 Amicalola Falls State Park Rd, Dawsonville.
7- Radium Springs
Radium Springs is Georgia’s largest natural spring, pumping thousands of gallons of water from an underground cave.
The historic site has charming stone pathways, lush gardens and a courtyard where the Radium Springs Casino once stood.
The water has traces of radium, making it appear brilliantly blue, and the temperature is around 20C (68F) all year-round.
The springs were once used as a swimming hole and fishing spot but swimming and fishing are not allowed today.
Radium Springs is at 2501 Radium Springs Rd. Albany.
8- Stone Mountain
Stone Mountain is a granite Monadnock that’s a unique geologic formation that rises from 3200 acres of parkland and is one of Georgia’s most famous landmarks.
The mountain is 825 ft high and stretches seven miles under the ground.
The state park is a top attraction in Georgia and is home to the world’s largest bas relief, the longest-running laser show globally, hiking trails, a museum and a kid’s theme park.
The walking trails are a beautiful hike past lovely lakes, islands, an old mill and a wooden bridge.
Stone Mountain Park is a venue for events, laser shows and is a popular destination for families.
The standard gauge Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad circles the park and is a great way to explore and see mountain views.
Stone Mountain Park is at 1000 Robert E Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain.
9- Okefenokee Swamp
The peat-filled wetland of Okefenokee Swamp is 438,000 acres straddling the Georgia/Florida border.
The swamp North America’s largest and was declared the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in 1937.
Habitats include cypress swamps, forested uplands and wet and dry prairies.
Home to American alligators, Indigo snakes, around 60 reptile species and 400 vertebrates, the swamp is a haven for wildlife.
There are over 200 types of birds, including white ibis, blue herons and wood storks.
Okefenokee Swamp is at 5700 Okefenokee Swamp Park Road Waycross.
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Historic Landmarks in Georgia
10- Roosevelt’s Little White House
USA’s 32nd president, Franklin D.Roosevelt, visited Warm Springs regularly for therapy for his polio, visiting almost every year between 1924 and 1945.
Roosevelt went to Warm Springs seeking a cure for polio in 1924, and while swimming in a pool, he was able to move his right leg.
In 1926, he bought the resort and created the Warm Springs Foundation.
Although Roosevelt did not regain the use of his legs, Warm Springs played a part in history by providing him with the motivation to continue in politics and become the governor of New York.
The Little White House is a charming six-room cottage built in 1932.
Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site is located at 401 Little White House Rd. in Warm Springs.
11- Fort Pulaski
Fort Pulaski was built on Cockspur Island between 1829 and 1847 to protect the port of Savannah.
The fort at the mouth of the Savannah River and named after a polish commander who fought valiantly under the command of George Washington during the American Revolution.
Pulaski was a cavalryman who participated in sieges and trained the revolutionary troops.
The fort is one of 30 coastal fortifications’ Third System’ built along the coast.
It took 18 years to finish the fort at the cost of $1 million.
The walls are 11 ft thick, and around 25 million bricks were used.
Fort Pulaski is 15 miles east of Savannah, Georgia, off US Highway 80 East.
12- Ocmulgee Mounds
Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park is a prehistoric American Indian site and home to a historic landmark in Georgia.
As far back as the Paleo-Indian Period, American Indian cultures lived off the land.
The area has a rich history that dates back 17,000 years, starting when the tribes were nomadic hunters and gatherers through to 1000BCE when they farmed in villages and around 900CE when the Mississippians emerged.
The Mississippians were a sophisticated society with a religious and governmental system.
They constructed these mounds for the top echelon of society.
This area is the traditional land of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
Ocmulgee Mounds is in Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park.
13- Georgia Guidestones
Georgia Guidestones is a granite monument out in the middle of nowhere in Georgia.
Erected in 1980 in Elbert County, the six granite slabs weighing 237,746 pounds (107,840 kg) are mysteriously inscribed in eight modern languages and four ancient scripts.
The ‘Stonehenge’ of Georgia stands at 750 feet (230 m) above sea level, and there’s a capstone on top of the five astronomically aligned slabs.
The monument is 19 feet 3 inches (5.87 m) tall, made from six granite slabs in all.
The Guidestones were commissioned by a mysterious man who said they were being built on behalf of an anonymous group of loyal Americans.
The stones are meant to be a compass calendar clock capable of withstanding catastrophic events and had been planned for 20 years.
Ownership of the land and the Georgia Guidestones was later bestowed upon Elbert County.
The guidelines inscribed on the stones are a puzzle. What do you think of this?
- Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
- Guide reproduction wisely improving fitness and diversity.
- Unite humanity with a living new language.
- Rule passion, faith tradition and all things with tempered reason.
- Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
- Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
- Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
- Balance personal rights with social duties.
- Prize truth beauty love seeking harmony with the infinite.
- Be not a cancer on the earth Leave room for nature Leave room for nature.
The stones were built to complex astrological specifications with the assistance of an astronomer from the University of Georgia.
Four outer stones were placed according to the sun’s annual migration, and North Star is visible at all times through the hole in the centre column.
The column also has a slot that aligns with the position of the rising sun during the solstices and equinoxes.
The Georgia Guidestones is at 1031 Guidestone Rd NW, Elberton.
14- Martin Luther King Historic Site
The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park is a sprawling complex of buildings that pays respect to one of the most famous leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement.
Spread across 35 acres, it includes several buildings, including a visitor centre, museum and is where Martin Luther King is buried.
It’s also home to the “I Have a Dream “International World Peace Rose Garden and Freedom Hall, which has exhibits about the Kings, Rosa Parks and Mahatma Gandhi.
Martin Luther King Historic Site is at 450 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta.
15- Coca Cola Museum
The World of Coca Cola is a 20-acre museum complex that showcases the history of Coca Cola.
Coca Cola was invented in Georgia over 125 years ago in Atlanta.
At the museum, you can taste Coca Cola made worldwide, from Indonesia to Peru to Nigeria and explore the vault where the secret Coca Cola formula is kept.
There are multimedia exhibits and interactive displays, such as the Virtual Taste Maker.
You can create combinations like the early inventors by turning the dial to add flavours to your mix.
There’s a gallery with original paintings featuring the Coca‑Cola product by famous artists, including the Coca Cola Santa.
Did you know that Coca Cola commissioned an artist to create an advertising image of Santa Claus?
The Coca Cola Museum is in Centennial Olympic Park at 121 Baker St NW, Atlanta.
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16- Georgia State Capital
The Georgia Capitol building is a 120-year-old landmark of Georgia built after the Civil War.
The beautiful Neoclassical building has a four-story portico and stone pediments supported by Corinthian columns embedded into massive stone piers.
The 19th-century building was one of the first to have central heating, elevators and electric lights.
This grand Georgian monument has marble floors and two wings on either side of a central rotunda with two grand staircases.
Atlanta is the fifth capital of Georgia and was founded in 1837 as a hub for the Western & Atlantic railroad line.
Georgia State Capital is at 206 State Capitol, Atlanta.
17- Forsyth Park
Forsyth Park is a lovely green park named after the 33rd governor of Georgia, John Forsyth, who represented the state in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Spread over 30 acres, Forsyth Park is a landmark in Savannah’ and the city’s largest and oldest public park.
The park is home to the most famous 1858 fountain in the city, designed after the beautiful fountains in Paris’ Place de la Concorde.
Other monuments in the park are the busts of generals Francis S. Bartow and Lafayette McLaws, and a monument to pay homage to the marines from Chatham County who died during World War II.
The park is an entertainment hub and venue of several festivals, including the Sidewalk Arts Festival (April), the Savannah Jazz Festival (September), the Picnic in the Park with the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra (October), and the Rock’ n’ Roll Marathon (November).
There are two kids playgrounds, a concert and event space, basketball and tennis courts.
The main strip turns into a Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.
William Brown Hodgson donated the land in the 1840s and was first used as a drill ground for Confederate troops.
Forsyth Park is at 2 W Gaston St, Savannah.
18- Mercedes Benz Stadium
Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a contemporary landmark in Atlanta that opened in 2017 to replace the Georgia Dome.
The Benz is home to the famous National Football League team, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Major League Soccer team, the Atlanta United FC.
The 71,000-seat stadium, which hosts sporting events and concerts, has a retractable roof shaped like a camera lens.
The roof can be opened so that natural sunlight can stream into the stadium or closed over during inclement weather.
Mercedes Benz Stadium is at 125 Ted Turner Dr NW, Atlanta.
19- Athens City Hall
Athens is a city in northeast Georgia famous for its antebellum architecture and is a key destination on the Antebellum Trail featuring Civil War towns.
The Athens-Clarke County City Hall was built to house a meat market on the ground floor, a calaboose (jail), and theatrical performances.
Constructed with Lexington granite and light buff brick with limestone trimmings, the building originally had 27 rooms, storage rooms, an auditorium and a chamber of commerce office.
The wooden clock tower has a copper dome, with an eagle perched on top of the four-faced clock that operated with counterweights until 1943.
There’s a bell that rings every hour and was once connected to the Fire Department’s alarm system, ringing whenever there was a fire.
Athens City Hall is at 301 College Avenue, Athens.
20- Watson Mill Covered Bridge
Watson Mill Bridge is Georgia’s longest covered bridge that is still in use. Once upon a time, there were over 200 covered bridges in Georgia.
The 229 ft bridge crosses over the South Fork River and is supported by a town lattice truss system.
The park is an excellent place to go for a picnic, hiking, biking and horse riding.
Watson Mill Covered Bridge is at 650 Watson Mill Road, Comer, Madison County.
21- Tybee Lighthouse
Tybee Island Light is one of seven lighthouses left from the colonial era and is the oldest and tallest in the state.
The 145 ft lighthouse stands next to the Savannah River Entrance on Tybee Island.
It was completed in 1736 and rebuilt in 1741, 1773 after the second lighthouse was swept away by a storm, and 1866 after Confederate forces burned the lighthouse down during the Civil War.
The Tybee Museum has displays that tell stories of Tybee Island’s rich history.
Tybee Lighthouse is at 30 Meddin Dr, Tybee Island.
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